Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Friday practice roundup for 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

The two Friday free practice sessions for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix concluded succesfully at the Sakhir International Circuit today. Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team completed a total of 106 laps in FP1 and FP2 concentrating on understanding tyre performance in the much hotter Bahrain circuit. In China last week, Nico Rosberg emerged winner while Michael Schumacher had to bow out due to a major fault at his scheduled pitstop wherein his right rear tire wasn’t bolted on and the car took off. We know how that one ended.

P1 saw 6 Mercedes-Benz powered cars finish in the top seven and P2 saw four of them finish in the top six. Ross Brawn, Team Principal & Co-Owner of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team had this to say, “We had a very solid day of practice here today, completing some good work on both low and high fuel.”

“We made some progress over the day with the set-up of the car, there were no issues and, all in all, it was a very reasonable day. We’ve done our homework and know what our priorities are, so that should enable us to work out what we want to tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes Benz Motor Sports added that the team “had a pretty good first day learning quite a lot about the big challenge of how to use the tyres in the best possible way and make them last during the necessary number of laps in the race.”

“There was more grip in the second session which helped. We still have room for improvement but I think our team has a good understanding of what will be required here on Sunday. Having said that, it is much too early to judge where we are compared to our competitors.”

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Michael Schumacher said, “We started well today,” “and our long runs are satisfying as well as our overall times. Unfortunately I could not complete my fast lap properly due to traffic. We will have to see what the outcome will be tomorrow and on Sunday as the tyres go away very quickly.”

“You really have to stay within the limit of them, that’s going to be the main issue. Let’s see what we can make out of it but the start of the weekend has definitely not been too bad for us.”

Nico Rosberg who took top spot at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix podium went on to say it was “a good start to the weekend, and whilst it’s nice to be quickest today, we know that doesn’t count. The most important thing still is to improve our race pace.”

“For the moment, it looks reasonable but we need to analyse where we are on high fuel levels compared to our competitors and draw our conclusions. The conditions are really tough out there, so the race will be quite demanding from the tyre perspective.”